Early Years Foundation Stage

Vision for EYFS

At Dove Bank Primary School, we believe in the power of play for our youngest learners.

We encourage children to explore our environment and resources on offer, to lead their own learning and return to familiar activities and resources throughout their time with us. 

We recognise that children need time to direct their own learning in addition to focussed learning time. To reflect this, our day has opportunities for: 

  • Child-initiated learning: During this time the children source their own learning opportunities using the resources available in the continuous provision. Adults spend time playing with the children, modelling correct language, supporting and challenging children in their play. 

  • Adult-focussed learning: This time is guided by the adults. It could be a whole class learning input such as phonics or a task based on children’s next steps. Activities are engaging, innovative and hands on.  

We have a highly skilled team in the EYFS, consisting of an EYFS Teacher, a Nursery Nurse and a TA.

Our environment is calm and inviting, consisting of 2 classrooms, a veranda and an extensive outdoor area which is accessible throughout the day.

Children spend time in our nature area, participating a dedicated Forest School session regularly.  

What’s New?

We are developing our curriculum to reflect the revised Development Matters statements.

We have introduced a rotation of Forest Friday activities to include Forest School, cooking, sewing and woodwork.

Our Message Centre is a wonderful new addition to our environment, that captures the children’s love of play and encourages independent mark-making leading to writing.  

Subject Leader Biography

Hello Everyone, my name is Miss Hopper and I have the pleasure of Leading the Early Years Foundation Stage at Dove Bank Primary School.

I have a passion for teaching children in the Early Years of their school life.

If you wish to find out more about the Early Years Curriculum or Early Learning please get in touch!  


Subject priorities

  1. Phonics- to ensure that staff are appropriately trained to deliver our Monster Phonics Programme.  

  2. Provision- to ensure the indoor and outdoor environment is used effectively and resourced appropriately. A larger space for construction and creativity indoors has been created, in addition to a dedicated maths area being developed.  

  3. Revised EYFS curriculum- to ensure that all staff are aware of the changes to our curriculum and how this links to their subject. 

Curriculum Statement


We are continuing to establish a curriculum that is broad and designed to give Early Years children the knowledge and cultural capital needed to succeed in life.

In the Early Years setting, the children develop the skills and knowledge necessary for their future learning through a phonics scheme that puts phonics at the heart of all that we do and raises the profile of phonics across the whole school. 

Our Early Years curriculum is skills based and is enhanced through carefully chosen, high quality texts linked to both the needs of the cohort and the statutory requirements.

Our approach to reading puts reading at the heart and ensures that all children, including those who are disadvantaged, have access to high quality texts and have the opportunity to develop a love of reading.

We will develop the opportunity to follow children’s interests within the texts chosen.

We will ensure that the curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced, based on the skills that the children need to acquire during their early years that is adapted and developed continually through ongoing assessment and initial baselines. 

Children with particular needs will be well catered for, particularly through their personal and social development, reflecting the needs of particular children in the cohort.

There will be a significant push on improving the vocabulary and language that our pupils use.  

Opportunities for developing early writing skills will be available in all areas of the classroom and the outdoor environment. A focus on ensuring boys’ writing will be a high priority. Letter formation will be taught continually throughout the school day through modelled and shared writing opportunities. 

A whole school maths scheme will have its foundation in the early years setting and will include a planned sequence of lessons developing the knowledge and understanding of number. The implementation of the same maths vocabulary and concepts and models will be developed as they move through the school. 


Adoption of ‘Monster Phonics’ as whole school approach to phonics. 

Using our secure knowledge of Early Years curriculum to facilitate a moderation group that is supported through Forest Way Teaching School and LiFE. 

Deliver meaningful learning across the setting where children are at the heart. 

Focusing on a good balance between teacher-led learning and opportunities for child-led learning, through a well organised setting where children are encouraged to be independent and to be creative through their play. This will be facilitated through resources, enhancements, careful adult interactions and constant challenges. 

Practitioners understand the EYFS curriculum and staff are experienced in this area.

Ongoing assessment focuses staff on the characteristics of learning as well as curriculum coverage. Both these elements are then used to plan children’s next steps and monitor progress. 

Children are well known by the staff and provision is well matched to the needs. For example, high expectations and understanding for an individual with more challenging behaviour has resulted in a very much improved attitudes and behaviour. 

Talk is very much valued in the Early Years class and adults will promote opportunities to develop talk through the children’s play and learning. Information is presented clearly to children, using a range of strategies. Misconceptions are addressed effectively and children’s confidence as talkers has a high priority. The Early Years children will be confident and very willing to engage in discussions and share their ideas and understanding.  

Adults model effectively their own speaking, listening and reading in order to develop the children’s vocabulary and language and are effective at developing questioning skills to enable the children to dive deeper into their learning and play. 

As the curriculum is book-led, there are lots of opportunities to excite and engage children with books. The Reception children also benefit from a dedicated daily story and snack sessions, through which reading will be modelled and talk and discussion valued. 

Children are heard read regularly on a one-to-one basis, beginning with no words books and then progressing as their phonics knowledge develops. 

The Early Years teaching is designed to be repetitive and to develop long term memory, through teaching which encourages children to think about what they learnt this morning, last week, last term etc.  

The organisation of the day is deliberately planned to ensure all children have the opportunity to develop their understanding and to ensure enough adult interaction is available. 

Routines are effective in ensuring smooth transitions between different parts of the day. 

There is a consistent approach towards phonics. Phonics is taught daily using Monster Phonics to enable our children to acquire the foundations for reading. Regular communication with parents ensures that there is a consistency and support at home. 

Practitioners use continual assessment to inform teaching. New learning is recorded using our Class Dojo, and this is shared with parents. 

Alongside Dojo, the school’s pupil tracking system (OTrack) is used at three points during the year to monitor baseline, progress and end of year data. 

Due to the experience and skills set of the Early Years staff, they are effective at assessing continually and providing challenging experiences which reflect the needs of individuals. The staff will share their knowledge of children through regular discussions.  

Forest school is a big part of the school week for the children in the early years setting and is based on the experience of our nursery nurse who is forest school trained. 

The environment is well planned for the cohort. There are clear areas such as construction, loose parts, the message centre etc. with resources to particularly develop independent creative thinking and learning. The child-led provision is enhanced through resources, adult interaction and challenges, based on individual and cohort needs. 

The school will continue to develop its good relationships with parents. Parents see all staff on the playground each morning and night and engage in regular communication via Dojo, email, or phone calls. 

Regular meetings are held with parents, for example a transition meeting in the term before the children enter reception, focussing on school readiness and expectations and a phonics/reading meeting to give ideas on encouraging a love of reading, etc. There is also a more formal parents’ evening twice a year.

Parents are encouraged to engage with the Dojo Portfolio, adding their own observations and reflecting on the children learning. 

All children  have a reading book and diary to take home. This specifies the importance of regular reading at home and enables communication between parent and teacher.  


All children are progressing through the Monster Phonics scheme, they are understanding the phonemes and graphemes and are using the characters and colour scheme to further develop their early reading skills. 

Children develop their skills and knowledge across all seven areas of the curriculum and through planning and provision they are enabled to achieve age appropriately. 

Children are well equipped to move into the next stage of education. The classroom provision trains them to be able to interact with peers and to focus on tasks when necessary. They develop a love for learning in Reception which prepares them well. A high priority over the last year has been to develop a much higher level of independence and through this develop a more consistent approach to child-led learning. This has been successful and the transition to Year 1 has been good. 

Children have a lot of opportunity to develop the love of books, through quality taught texts, the provision of quality texts in the class reading area, the modelling of reading by the adults. They enjoy poems and rhymes as part of this provision. 

Children develop their early maths concepts, particular through the Power Maths scheme. They are motivated and engaged through the characters and the concepts taught, and through this develop as confident mathematicians who have the opportunity to develop early fluency, problem solving and reasoning. Maths is a very practical subject in the Early Years and children explore the concepts enthusiastically, through both taught and independent learning. They are well equipped to move onto the year 1 curriculum. 

Children at Dove Bank are confident to articulate what they know, understand and do in an age-appropriate way. They are happy to talk about their learning and are confident to engage in discussions with their older peers. They happily talk to other staff members about what they are doing and what they think they are learning. 

Children have the opportunity to be active everyday through the free flow provision outside. They show good control with their physical movements both through taught PE sessions and their movements within the curriculum. Their control and coordination in large and small movements is generally appropriate for their age and there are lots of opportunities in the outdoor environment to develop this through the use of climbing, balancing and building equipment. There is also the opportunity to develop gross motor skills through the use of wheeled toys. Provision also enhances the development of fine motor skills. 

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